Jul 21, 2012 at 1:45 pm #1292214
I know there's been a couple similar threads but since the Olympus is still relatively new I figured there might be some new insight. Currently I have a Canon s90 that has overall been pretty good but I'm looking for an upgrade. I also have a Canon T1i that I never use and want to sell to fund a new camera.
A little bit of history: I shot a lot of B&W film and developed and printed everything myself but have gradually gotten away from it, mainly for the sake of convenience. I've never had a digital camera that comes anywhere close to the image quality that I was getting with medium format film and as a result have been pretty lazy with my digital picture taking over the past couple years. I'd like to get a quality compact digital and start being a little more thoughtful again. I've done some research and the x100 and E-M5 look the most appealing at the moment. Thoughts I'm having:
What it'll be used for:
-I'll definitely sell the T1i and probably sell the s90 as well, so this will likely be my only (digital) camera.
-Backpacking as well as general life documenting.
-I'm pretty into natural history/ecology stuff, so I like good macro capabilities for plants, etc. I'd probably shoot more wildlife but don't really have any interest at all in big long lenses. I've never owned or felt the need for long zooms. I do, however, use the long end of the zoom on the s90 somewhat regularly. Getting a good shot of a rattlesnake with the x100 seems a little, uh, questionable…
-I love the simplicity and excellent image quality.
-I'm a bit concerned about the single focal length since this will probably be my only camera
-I like the compactness
-Lots of used ones available/cheaper than the Oly
-Definitely more versatile, but I'm a bit afraid I'd end up just using the Panasonic 20/1.7 95% of the time anyway, so not sure I'd take full advantage of the versatility. I don't see myself carrying extra lenses around.
-Weather sealing is nice, but not sure if it means much unless I'm using sealed lenses (none of which seem like lenses I'd use backpacking–which is when sealing would be the most useful)
-Better video than the Fuji. I haven't really used the video feature much on the s90 mostly because it's not very good, but I could see myself starting to shoot more video of I had the capability.
-a bit heavier/bulkier that the Fuji
Anyway, any input from those that have been using these (or other similar cameras) would be appreciated.Jul 21, 2012 at 3:07 pm #1896500
Rick DreherBPL Member
@halfturboLocale: Northernish California
If your prime concern is finding the better one-camera solution, the E-M5 would seem to be the right path–you get to choose your lens(es) and the camera itself has far more capabilities. I've taken mine on a total of one backpacking trip, in miserable weather as it turned out, and am already sold. I used it mostly with the 12-50, and a bit with the 45/1.8 (which is not weatherproof, but fast and very sharp wide open). FWIW the 12-50's macro capability is surprisingly good.
I do admire the X100 but would probably go for the X-Pro1 despite the greater weight and price. The single fixed lens is simply too limiting, IMHO, based on using a DP1.
RickJul 22, 2012 at 11:18 am #1896657
If, like you said you were only going to use something like the 20 1.7, with the OMD, then I think the X100 would be the better choice, as it has a wonderful macro mode, plus the auto stitch mode, for wide vista shots, or whatever.
I have the X100 and with the recent firmware upgrades and a 95 mb a sec. card, it's a pretty decent camera now and the image quality is a good step above my GH2 ( don't have the OMD).
If, however you want more choices for lenses, specially for the tele end, then the OMD would be a better choice, although the larger sensor on the X100 does allow for more cropping than the 4/3 sensor does, for sure.
A weather sealed body without a weather sealed lens, sort of negates that benefit.Jul 22, 2012 at 7:15 pm #1896747
Eugene SmithBPL Member
@eugeneiusLocale: Nuevo Mexico
Both of those will be what you make of them, fully capable cameras for image making. I flip flopped between the X100 and waiting for the E-M5, but was sold by the X100 for several reasons, the image quality first and foremost, which is excellent with the fixed lens. The styling is unobtrusive, it is a camera that I have no reservations slinging around my chest everyday.
There are and will be better cameras than the X100, it has its fair share of flaws and quirks, but they can all be worked around quite easily. I sold my very capable Nikon D7000 and acquired lenses because it sat in a bag most of the time, this wasn't a camera that I enjoyed slinging around with me on a regular basis.
Check your exif data and find what focal length you typically settle with.
Pecos Wilderness, 7/2/12. Fuji X100 ISO200 f16-1/100 0ev 23mmJul 23, 2012 at 10:07 am #1896871
right now my family has an x100, om e-m5, fuji x-pro1, panasonic gh2, a s90, and just received a sony rx100. We plan to downsize and sell / pass on several of these cameras. clearly the s90 is going, but which others we will keep and which we will get rid of is a really hard choice. I guess if we could keep just one camera it would be the OM E-M5 because the image quality is decent, with one of the pancake lens it's pretty light / compact, and I appreciate the versatility of the multiple lens, even if 80% of the time I use the 20/1.7 lens.
the x100 fits my me really well. It's my everyday carry camera. I love the ergonomics (though the menu system could be better). if it had the x-pro1 sensor, I could maybe consider this being my only camera… but I prefer better low light performance for a good bit of my non backpacking photography and having other lens lengths is useful… though if I am honest, most likely 90% of my images can be handled by it's lens. So my minimalist leanings would love this to be my only camera, but practically suggests this is one of the camera that will ultimately go.
I *love* the image quality of the x-pro1… but the speed and accuracy of the auto focus, and the pain of using manual focus is a real handicap. Hopefully a firmware upgrade will improve this soon, just as fuji fixed a number of problems with the X100. The other downside is while not not huge, and certainly lighter than many DSLRs, the x-pro1 camera is larger than you might expect. The x100 slips inside my everyday carry bag, the x-pro1 even with the smallest lens doesn't.
The gh2 is better for video and the fully articulated screen is quite useful at times. The e-m5 has 1-2 stop advantage, but at low ISO settings I don't find the e-m5 having significantly better image quality.
the size of the s90 was perfect, but very rarely was I satisfied with image quality. It was what I would take on backpacking trips when I was really trying to keep weight down… but most of the time a heavier camera came on the trip. I am hoping the sony rx100 which be good enough that I won't feel compelled to bring a larger / heavier camera. We will see if that is the case.
–MarkJul 24, 2012 at 2:29 pm #1897242
Excellent feedback, everyone. Thanks. I feel like the E-M5 is the wiser choice but I really want the X100, mainly for simplicity and a bit better image quality. I feel like I'd carry and use it more, but there will probably be times where I'd miss the versatility of the E-M5. I've definitely checked out the Xpro1 but it's a bit too spendy for me and does appear a bit more bulky.
Mark, have you compared prints of the E-M5/X100/Xpro1?
Eugene, I love the sheep pic. Good stuff.Jul 25, 2012 at 12:19 am #1897390
rarely print, and not enough from these recently cameras to say a lot . mostly view on high res display. The Xpro1 is the champ generally. I have been pleased with both the X100 and E-M5 so long as I keep ISO at 1000 or less.
–MarkJul 25, 2012 at 1:44 am #1897401
Jason ElsworthBPL Member
@jephotoLocale: New Zealand
I am pleased with my x100 so far. I haven't worked on any RAW files yet, but jpegs are excellent. It certainly isn't the perfect camera, but for me the combination of small size, simplicity and high image quality was perfect.Jul 25, 2012 at 8:28 am #1897435
There has been a fun great video shootout running for a month or so. Video is one of the reasons that I am still holding onto the GH2… it has worked well, and it did well again other cameras costing 10x,
–markAug 13, 2012 at 9:25 pm #1902490
Kai LarsonBPL Member
I own both.
They are not comparable.
If I had to choose one, I'd choose the OMD E-M5
I have a review and comparison of them on my blog here:Sep 18, 2012 at 5:01 am #1913249
@carlbeckerLocale: Northern Virginia
I own the X100 and also have a D700. For hiking and quick use I like the X100. When I need more versatility I use the D700. I don't have a problem with on lens when hiking. As you note most of your shots would be with a single focal length. If I had to start all over again I would probably have a X PRO 1 with a few lenses and D7000 for tele work.Sep 24, 2012 at 9:31 am #1915145
Rick DreherBPL Member
@halfturboLocale: Northernish California
Pixel peepers can now compare the two at DxOMark, who finally released their E-M5 evaluation. Basically a push, with a slight edge to the Fuji in high-ISO performance.
RickSep 24, 2012 at 3:01 pm #1915222
I ended up with an X100 and have used it on a few trips now. Overall it's been a joy, but I'll probably sell it for an X-E1 later this fall. Should be about the same size/wt as the X100 once the 27mm pancake is available, and it'll be quite a bit more versatile than the X100 (plus a bump in IQ since it has the X pro sensor).Sep 25, 2012 at 1:25 pm #1915484
Kyle MeyerBPL Member
@kylemeyerLocale: Portland, OR
I have the X100 and it is wonderful. As someone who's owned a Canon 30D, T1i, T2i, used a 5D Mark II extensively, I really really love it. I like the constraint of a lack of zoom and find it improves my consideration of composition instead of simply zooming to fill the frame with whatever I'm photographing. Prime lenses make people a better photographer.
That said, my decision in picking the X100 over the E-M5 was that the X100 takes more "filmic" photos. The E-M5 takes very digital, perfect photos that lack the energy that the X100 photos seem to capture.Sep 27, 2012 at 12:08 am #1916037
@footeabLocale: Pacific Northwest
Sigma SD2M rather than either of these options(though I would go with the OMD-5 over the 100). You want Medium Format Quality, this cam has it according to Luminous Landscape who seems to be more of a photog effenete. Likewise, its user interface stinks. =) Same price too.Oct 18, 2012 at 8:48 pm #1922707
@ramblerLocale: On the AT in VA
Kai, great reviews. Very helpful. I have an Oly e-620 that probably needs replacement as it is beginning to need repair. Since I have several lenses the EM-5 will probably be my next move. It was good to learn about the compatibility of the Canon L series, too. Thanks.
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